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Archive for the ‘Spinning’ Category

Happy New Year

Happy New Year Everyone!  It has been a while, but I did want to pop in, and give my best wishes to everyone who is reading this.  It has been busy.  But I wanted to try to start with a clean slate, which means I have a few more projects to show you.

nightdress

First off, in the middle of the summer, I finished this nightgown.
It is a pattern I have made before, and it is just  a fun little thing.  The girls love them.  I have made them with both long and short sleeves.  I think more of these will be following.  I am thinking sleeveless would not be too hard, just a little adjustment on the armholes.

socks

Then there were these socks for DD2.  The yarn was Plymouth Yarn’s Diversity, a very soft sock yarn, with 93% Acrylic, 7 % polyester.  The 100 gram skeins have 420 yards, plenty for a pair of socks.  The color way is called Pink Palm, though my skein did not actually state that…  Long life the internet!  😀  The pattern is called twisted rib, k4, p4, shift over 1 stitch every 4 or so rounds…

img_0623

A dear friend from the other side of the world had a baby in June, and of course I had to make something for him!
The pattern is Rossbeg, from Contemporary Irish Knits, by Carol Feller, downsized for a 9 month old.  Apparently I overshot a little, because at 6 months old the baby barely fit is.  Oops!   I used US4 (3,5 mm) needles and Patons’ Classic Wool Worsted, in the Natural Mix color way.  img_0624

But, I love the book, it has gorgeous patterns in it, and this is just one of them.  The yarn was a soft, but not extremely, but since it was meant as a cardigan/light coat, it was perfectly fine.  It was actually perfect for this.

And in late September I finished spinning my first batch of yarn.

img_0644  It was 16 oz of  lovely sliver, BFL (Blue Faced Leister) I believe.  I got about 2030 yards of 2 ply yarn from it, in 4 uneven skeins, which makes about 126 yards per oz.  Or 447 yards per 100 gram.  Not bad, if I say so myself.

Last but certainly not least, I finished a scarf, loosely following Renee’s Lace Class Scarf pattern, though I made a number of changes.  But, you know what?  With all the busyness of the holiday season, I have not gotten around to blocking it!  And do not really have a picture yet.  I used Plymouth Earth’s Ecco Cashmere, delightfully soft, 100% Cashmere goat.  The skein was 354 yards per 50 gram, on Needle US4 (3.5mm).  Lovely, incredibly soft.  I made it a lot narrower, since my yarn was a lot thinner then the pattern called for, but I prefer my scarfs that way.  I seems to be a good length, and when I get it blocked, I will take a good picture, and tell you all about what I did.  Apparently Ecco Cashmere is no longer in Plymouth’s line-up, and I could not find a link for you to it’s information.  Here is a link with comparable alternatives though.

And that catches you up for 2016, I think.  I can tell you there is more coming this year, as I have already dipped my toe in a new skill.  Tatting!  But more about that next time…

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I was talking about it before, and have finally decided to actually do it. I am going to talk about all the projects I currently have in progress. But first I am going to share about a wonderful package that arrived today. I received a terrific gift certificate from a very dear friend, and finally got around to spending it. The first and foremost item was actually lace blocking wires. I am hoping to be able to more easily block lace shawls with these. Then there was that pattern that caught my eye, and since it was on sale, I decided to indulge myself. It is a knitted twin set, as in a cardigan and shell. But the bulk of the package was actually wonderfully soft, scrumptious looking yarn. There is a skein of Centolavaggi lace weight yarn, in a chestnut color, a skein of Heritage sock yarn in the color Camel, and 4 skeins of Nirvana lace weight in the color dove, a very nice silvergrey. At 1531 yards, the Centolavaggi should be plenty for a shawl, and the 4 skeins or Nirvana add up to 1488 yards, which I also think should be a very nice shawl. I am looking forward to matching it to a pattern, but first I want to finish some of my UFO’s.

And here is the list of projects I am currently working on.

First, there is a pair of socks. The pattern is Andromeda, and I am using Knitpicks Stroll yarn. At the beginning of this year this is how they looked:

Then there is my Casablanca shawl, which looked like this at the beginning of the year:

I am making it using Zephyr lace weight. The pattern was made available through a KAL by Anne Cousins. I am unaware of any source where the pattern is currently available. If anyone knows, please let me know.

Third, I am working on the 22 leaves Shawlette, using Pagewood Farm’s Chugiak. Around the first of the year it looked like this:

Fourth would be A’tuin, a very pretty but somewhat problematic pattern designed by Mmario. I have not quite gotten to the part where everyone who has attempted this shawl is stuck, but it is not far out. Mmario has said that he will figure it out, but currently A’tuin is not cooperating. What else would one expect from a turtle who carries a whole world on it’s back.

I am using some 5/2 pearl cotton.

And my last knitting project would be my Icelandic Lace Shawl. It uses Brooks Farm’s Acero. It has been patient, and been waiting for me while I have been off having affairs with other shawls. It’s main problem is that it gets to be too hot to knit in these Texas summers. This is what it looks like:

However, that is not all. I am also working on a crocheted afghan:

I am using Wintuk yarn for this one. There will be 63 squares in the end, and around the beginning of the year I had finished 27 squares.

There is another afghan, a ripple afghan, that I am “aware” of floating somewhere around the house, but I could not actually put my hands on it to take a picture of it.

I also do cross stitch, and I am working on Bird Feeder by Thea Gouverneur, but this one is going reeeaaal slow:

And last but not least, my bobbin lace:

It is just a little flanders edging, and it is a lot of fun to do, as long as my 2 year old doesn’t tear the bobbins off. That makes progress very slow, as I am not usually in the mood to fix it when that happens.

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Wow, 190 hits!

I was reading Projektmanagerin’s Blog, and in order to leave a comment I log into my blog here, and I thought I was seeing something wrong. It said that my blog got 190 hits in one day! I know that I have a couple of very faithful readers who come by regularly, but this is more then 10 times that. I am pretty certain that it was because Projektmanagerin had linked back to my post about life lines, and possibly because she visited multiple times while trying to figure out how to put her lifeline in. This blog stuff is so cool!

I have been having some rather interesting days. As I mentioned last time, I am getting my my kitchen redone. And it has been a bit stressful. But, to keep from looking over the guys (why are there hardly any gals doing this work?) shoulders, I have been doing some spinning:

Some cross stitch:

and lots of knitting, most notably Oregon, which is almost at the end of it’s first skein! Woohoo! It was a 4 oz skein, which meant less joins then the more customary 2 oz skeins. Four oz. down, supposedly 4 more to go!

I also did some knitting on a “vanilla” sock, with Poem sock yarn, Color 955 according to the label. Doesn’t look anything like their sample at this point, but we’ll see what it looks like when finished. Maybe next time I will have a picture of the sock to share. It was still hiding in the back pack at this point, where it doubles as a take along project, so I am never without.

On a related but separate note, I had some gift cards to spend at Barnes and Noble, and look what I received in the mail today:

I am off to go look at my new books, hopefully before my son wakes up from his nap. And I am going to check and see what is going on in my kitchen. They are putting the grout in/down/whatever you call adding grout to tile. 😀

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The Sassy Spinster

My goodness, time goes so fast. I was fully intending on writing just a few days later. But things have been going on, and all of a sudden it is 2 weeks later. Nope, no baby yet, for those of you who actually keep up with this blog… I have no real idea how many of you there are, as not many people leave me comments. I know there are some visits, more then I expected. Please know that I would love to receive comments on what you liked or didn’t like about my blog, projects, etc.

But now in regards to The Sassy Spinster, a yarn shop in Lancaster, TX. The store just opened last year, in a small little hole in the wall off of the Historic Town Square in Lancaster. I met Susan, the owner, at that time, thanks to one of the ladies on one of the e-mail lists I belong to. The store had an amazing amount of stuff in it, yarn of all kinds, but also a lot of roving, spinning tools, weaving tools, knitting accessories, you name it. And despite being new, she kept adding new and wonderful items.

Then around the end of last year, my friend told me that the Sassy Spinster was going to be moving to a new location, a much bigger store. I had been very curious, but was also in the midst of moving, and did not manage to make it up to Lancaster until last month. And WOW. (And I have only one regret about that visit, but more about that later.) Did that store change! And only for the better. The store is, I believe, 3-4 times as big, maybe even more then that, still filled with all the fiber goodies you can think off, but now you can see all of them. It now has a wonderful couch area for people to sit and knit, several spinning wheels and looms set up, a round table where you can sit and knit, and so much more. In the back was also a section of gorgeous dolls, I have to apologize, I don’t remember their name. There are several toys that my 2 year old could play with while I could shop to my hearts contend! None of the yarn seems extremely pricey to me, and oh so yummy!

I was looking for some purple bulky weight to match the Dune I used in the scarf I was working on last time. I found some Baby Alpaca Brush in color 1805, a wonderful dark purple. I think it matches the scarf beautifully, and I will probably try to make at least a matching hat and maybe fingerless mittens with it. But that will have to wait until next winter I think. I first considered making the scarf longer, but I decided I did not like the heavily multi colored Dune right next to the Purple. But my, is this yarn soft!

I was also looking for some cotton to make a nice soft sweater for my new baby, and found Cotton Kisses, which I am working on. I don’t care for the yarn much, but the end product is lovely, and soft. Just what I wanted. I am changing the pattern a little, I am going to try to put in short sleeves, so my baby can wear it a bit longer in the Texas spring.

There was also some wonderful roving, but I had pretty much spend as much as I could, trying to stay on somewhat of a budget with the new baby coming and all. But I hope she will still have that roving the next time I come in, because then it is definitely coming home with me!

My only regret was that I did not bring my camera. I have no pictures to show you! I will try to remedy that the next time I go! For now, I am going to knit on my baby sweater, I am hoping it will get finished before the baby arrives, and that could be any day now. 🙂

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I finally did it, I finished spinning 4 ounces!! I am pretty proud of my self. I did not think I would ever manage to get the bobbin full, it took forever. Though I have to admit, it went much faster when I started spinning regularly because of the tour de fleece. Here is my results:
I know if anyone else looks like it they will probably think: Is that all? It has little curlycues coming out of it, and it really does not look that even! But it is the first thing I have ever spun! I am going to be working on the other 4, so I can ply them. I am now a bit anxious to see what the end result will look like. But I guess I have to be patient.

I have also been working on A’tuin and Casablanca, though Casablanca went backwards since the last post. I decided I wanted beads in the Moorish lattice. Every time I picked it up I said to my self: Next time I want to put beads in this part. Then I decided that it was a nice to knit, and it was only 20 rows back to where I wanted to put the first beads in, so I just ripped it. I tried dropping individual stitches, but that did not work so well. You keep running into other stitches that you then also have to drop. I decided rather then litterally having to drop all the stitches one by one, I would just frog and redo it. It is a bit of a gamble, since I don’t know what the complete stole will look like, but I think it will be okay. A’tuin is almost finished till the end of the 2nd chart. I promise, pictures will come when that happens. Back to knitting!

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Yesterday I had some shawls yelling at me. A’tuin from MMario and Casablanca were fighting about who would get most of my attention. I eventually sat both of them down and told them if they behaved that way I was going to spend some time with Oregon. That apparently was too much, because they agreed to just share the time, as long as they would both get attention.

So I worked on Casablanca some, and finished up to row 47 I believe. I am absolutely loving how this is turning out. I think Anne C. is doing a great job. Of course I am on clue 2, and clue 5 came out yesterday, but oh well. 🙂 All good things come slowly, as the dutch proverb goes. Here is a picture of the first clue finished. I will take a picture again after I am done with the second one.

A’tuin is also coming along nicely, and after I worked on it a couple of rows, I got to row 53. Right now I am still working on the shell part, and I am loving the ground that Mmario chose to use for it. It looks like a turtle shell to me. For those who are wondering, A’tuin is based on the Discworld Books by Terry Pratchett. I have just recently started reading this series, and am liking what I have read so far. Not that that is necessarily a lot. But I seem to be doing all kinds of things in very little pieces at a time. Apparently that is part of being a mother? But at least I do have some time for “me” things. This is a very good thing. Oh, and here is a picture of A’tuin, after the 1st chart.
It has grown bigger, but the pattern has not changed much. Again, I will get a new picture after I am done with this chart. The next section looks like fun.

And then there was of course my spinning too….. Well just see my progress I guess. I know people will probably look at it and go eeeuw… But hey it is my first attempt, and I am pretty proud of it!

Oh, and I guess I promised some other pictures too. Here is the Heron Dishcloth:

And here is the diagonal dishcloth that I just sort of made up:

Please, feel free to let me know what you think! And now we will be off to find materials for DS’s not yet realized little desk. 😀

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I have been spinning, I promise.  It seems to take forever, I have almost finished 3 ounces.  I was hoping that 4 ounces will fit on the bobbin, as I have 8 ounces of fiber, and was hoping to divide it between 2 bobbins before I ply it.  We’ll see.  When I read other people’s blog about spinning, they seem to do much more and spin much more quickly then I manage. Sometimes I wonder if it is going to take forever. One tip I have picked up somewhere, (Apologies, I don’t remember where) is to divide your fiber in specific pieces, like 1 or 2 ounces. I have realized that that makes it much easier to know whether you have made progress or not. I seem to be getting somewhat more even, so that is something at least, and I do think I am getting faster. Now I do hope that it won’t all fall apart when I get ready to ply….. Sorry, no pictures of the spun fiber yet.  But here are some over due pictures of MS 3:
MS 3 or Swan Lake in all it\'s glorie
And you know who tried to usurp it immediately?

Crab Dishcloth for Gma:

Red Crabby dishcloth

Red Crabby dishcloth


And you know who loves it?
Dishcloth in use

Dishcloth in use


And here is a quick look at the second cloth, cream, diagonal knit without holes:
See my nice cloth?

See my nice cloth?


The last one, the blue Heron is finished, but the photo is not off the camera yet. I will try to do that next time, as well as pictures of my spinning.

I do think I will have to play with the pictures a little. Not quite how I want them, but that will have to come later.
I have also been working on Casablanca recently. It is coming along nicely, though slowly. Of course, translating the files each week takes a little time. And I am also house hunting, which is pretty much taking most of 1 day per week. So knitting time is becoming somewhat of a premium, especially as I try to keep up with Tour de Fleece.
Anniversary got cut (literally). I knew there was a mistake, and I couldn’t find it. I had been thinking the yarn was wrong anyway, so I will retry it when I get yarn that wants to be it.

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